Peter Docker knits us into a ‘pea-soup fog’ of Western Australian heat, blanketing us, until we feel it ‘seeping right into the bones’. In the familiar-sounding Baalboorlie, the sun beats down,scorching the airless metal cell of a prisoner transportation vehicle. It cooks the Old Man’s flesh as he is escorted across a vast stretch of his desert country. The floor of the mobile oven sears his bare stomach, the branding ‘raised up and angry red and orange, in the shape of the rising sun badge of the ADF’. His grandmother was right, ‘White men will steal you in the night, then cook and eat you’.
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Sophie Shanahan is an avid reader of Australian literature. She runs a website, www.female-factory.com, where, inspired by the disparity between male and female representation in literary arts, she offers casual reviews of contemporary Australian women’s writing. Sophie has recently begun work with the Cultural Atlas of Australia website to link Indigenous language groups and place names to the current entries of Australian literary significance: www.australian-cultural-atlas.info.
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